Daniel Ortega’s regime prevented the journalistic team made up of reporter Camilo Loret de Mola and cameraman César Torero, from the television channel Mega TV, based in the United States, from entering the country, who were held for two hours at the airport. International Augusto C. Sandino, offended and deported them on a direct flight to El Salvador, without justifying the prohibition to enter Nicaragua.
“We were repressed by Daniel Ortega’s state security,” the journalist denounced in his narration of the events in an interview from Honduras for the television station he works with. Loret explains that both he and Torero met all the covid-19 health requirements that Nicaragua requests to enter the country. However, upon arrival at the airport, a subject who never identified himself called the cameraman by his name and assured him that they had problems with his covid-19 test. He came to support his colleague, and the same man asked for his passport and they held him.
The alleged justification of the subject, which the journalist considers belongs to “State security”, was disarmed, when he presented them with a doctor, who was disoriented about what was happening, and finally said: “this is a problem of you guys, don’t mess with me.” He handed the documents to the man and left.
The person then said that the Avianca airline was the one that was dissatisfied with the covid-19 examination of the journalists, but the company’s workers denied the accusation and assured that it was the authorities who had been waiting for them since the morning of April 24 They knew what their flight was and they were going to be deported.
“We realized that everything was a device, everything was a trick, everything was a trap, and that’s when we began to discuss,” said Loret, who at that time asked to speak with the United States consul in Nicaragua. The man became aggressive and they also defended their rights in the face of the injustice they were being subjected to.
“They began to disrespect, I also began to disrespect him because they are dressed in civilian clothes, they have never identified themselves. It is not known who they are. There was a man with a rifle who did threaten us, but he had a full uniform, there were people with vests from the air security airport who did have identification, but these gentlemen are dressed in civilian clothes and they moved around… I know they are from the security of the State because it is the same modus operandi Cuban, but they did not identify themselves”, narrated the journalist.
For his part, cameraman Torero took out his cell phone to record the precise moment in which they were taken to a plane bound for El Salvador, despite the fact that that country was not on the reporters’ itinerary. This generated an attack of hysteria in the man, who began to cover his face and also recorded the reporters.
“The cell phone is a powerful weapon not only in Cuba, but also in Nicaragua,” said the journalist, who traveled to the country to cover the migration of Cubans, leaving the national territory for the United States. The journalist compared the repression experienced with the actions of the Cuban regime, which also limits the exercise of freedom of expression and of the press.
“They were waiting for us with names, flight details, description of César-the cameraman-, they knew who we were,” said the reporter.
This is not the first time that immigration authorities have prevented reporters of different nationalities from working as journalists. Last November, the Ortega regime blocked international press coverage, by not allowing the entry of dozens of journalists who tried to cover the general votes, described by the opposition as an electoral farce and without political competition.